Graphics and Windowing


vesad (VESA)

It's not really a driver, it writes to a framebuffer given by firmware (via UEFI or BIOS software interrupts).

Because we don't have GPU drivers yet, we rely on what firmware gives to us.

GPU drivers

On Linux/BSDs, the GPU communication with the kernel is done by the DRM system (Direct Renderig Manager, libdrm library), that Mesa3D drivers use to work (Mesa3D implement OpenGL/Vulkan drivers, DRM expose the hardware interfaces).

Said this, on Redox the GPU driver needs to be an user-space daemon which use the system calls/schemes to talk with the hardware.

The last step is to adapt our Mesa3D fork/recipe to use these user-space daemons.

Accelerated Graphics

We don't have GPU drivers yet but LLVMpipe (OpenGL CPU emulation) and VirtIO (2D/3D accleration from/for a virtual machine) is working.


The Orbital desktop environment provides a display server, window manager and compositor.

  • The display server is more simple than Wayland, making the porting task more quick and easy.


The programs written with these libraries can run on Orbital.

  • SDL1.2
  • SDL2
  • winit
  • softbuffer
  • Slint (use winit/softbuffer)
  • Iced (use winit/softbuffer)
  • egui (can use winit or SDL2)


  • Custom Resolutions
  • App Launcher (bottom bar)
  • File Manager
  • Text Editor
  • Calculator
  • Terminal Emulator

If you hold the Super key (generally the key with a Windows logo) it will show all keyboard shortcuts in a pop-up.